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Obstacle Courses are a series of exercises, prompts or other creative task that help people create output rather than just learn.

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So much of consulting is not “having the answer” but helping everyone get to the answer together. It’s about exploration and process as much as it’s about expertise and “being right”.

To that end - I’m fascinated by this idea of “small groups consultancy” from Matt Webb:

There are a couple of things I’m investigating:

1) That a small group is a powerful way of thinking, and of creating action. That repetition matters, and informality.

2) It might be possible to help with strategy without providing original thought or even active facilitation: To consult without consulting. The answers and even ways of working are inherent in the group itself.

My hunch is this: To answer a business’s strategic questions, which will intrinsically involve changing that business, a more permanent solution than a visiting consultant might be to convene a small group, and spend time with it, chatting informally.

You’ve really got to read the whole post here: Small groups and consultancy and coffee mornings.

Open questions:

  • What kind of problems need this “small groups” approach?
  • How do the commercials work? Who gets paid what? Who has incentive to make this work?
  • What other models exist outside of traditional consulting?